The declaration of rape as an emergency in Sierra Leone needs to address legal ambiguities in order to combat the scourge of rape and gender-based violence

Lyndon Baines-Johnson and Mwai Daka - 22nd July 2019

The Registration of Customary Marriage and Divorce Act (RCMDA) of 2007 contradicts the Child Rights Act (CRA) of 2007 which prohibits marriage before the age of eighteen. The exception in Section 2 of the Customary Marriage Act states that a customary marriage is valid if both parents to a child (including other adults such a […]

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The ‘Unaffordable’ Pro-life Abortion Policy in Kenya

Christine Kahura - 13th June 2019

The narrow basis for the procurement of abortions in Kenya discriminates against women and girls based on their sex and gender. The most adversely affected are poor women and girls living in rural and informal settlements. These women must rely on unsafe back street abortions that pose a risk to their lives. One such woman […]

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The entry of women into the legal profession under British colonial rule

Rishika Sahgal and Andrew Byrnes - 3rd June 2019

This year sees the centenary of the abolition of the legal barriers to women’s entry into the legal profession in the United Kingdom. The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 (UK), which commenced operation on 23 December 1919, provided that a person should not be disqualified ‘by sex or marriage from entering or assuming or carrying […]

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Liberalising Access to Abortion and Sex Education to Decrease Teenage Pregnancy in Kazakhstan

Adilya Zhilgildina - 5th April 2019

Teenage pregnancy rates in Kazakhstan are high, with 3443 births in 2017, much higher than during the Soviet period. As a means to decrease the prevalence of teenage pregnancy, the Vice Minister of Healthcare has proposed a more liberal abortion regime by making abortions more accessible to teenagers, providing access to birth control and introducing […]

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Indian Supreme Court on Dance Bar Regulations: Victory for Bar Dancers?

Prankul Boobana - 12th March 2019

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India (‘SC’) recently relaxed the stringent conditions imposed by the Maharashtra government for obtaining licenses and running dance bars, public establishments which are an important source of livelihood for female dancers. These dancers generally belong to the traditional dancing communities and are following their hereditary occupation. It […]

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Elusive Equality: The Missing Element in the Oxytocin Ban Decision

Gauri Pillai - 22nd February 2019

Oxytocin is a WHO-recommended drug for the inducement of labour during childbirth, and in the prevention and treatment of post-partum haemorrhage. Recently, a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court set aside a notification issued by the Central Government which prohibited the manufacture and distribution of Oxytocin for domestic use by licensed private sector companies. […]

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India’s New Transgender Bill and its Discontents

Akanshha Agrawal - 27th January 2019

The government of India attempted to take a progressive step to protect the rights and dignity of transgender persons by introducing the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016. This was passed by the Lower House of Indian Parliament and is set be introduced in the Upper House. The groundwork for this bill was laid […]

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UK Reform of Gender Recognition and the Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Julius Komorowski - 20th November 2018

The UK Government’s consultation on reforming the  Gender Recognition Act 2004 proposes making it easier for trans people to change legal sex or gender. Commentary supporting reform has relied upon the Commission for Equality and Human Rights’ longstanding guidance on the Equality Act 2010. But the Commission’s consultation response is inconsistent with that advice. Their […]

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Let’s call ‘conscientious objection’ by its name: Obstruction of access to care and abortion in South Africa

Satang Nabaneh Marion Stevens and Lucia Berro Pizzarossa - 24th October 2018

South Africa has one of the most liberal laws on abortion and constitutionally recognizes reproductive rights as human rights. However, data shows important difficulties translating the legal norms into effective access to services. One of the key challenges is physicians’ refusal to perform abortions invoking an “ad hoc, unregulated and at times incorrect” conscientious objection. […]

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Indian Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Women’s Entry into Religious Temple

Raja Dandamudi - 11th October 2018

Recently, a (4:1) majority of a five-judge bench of the Indian Supreme Court in Indian Lawyers Association v. State of Kerala upheld the right of women to worship in the famous Sabarimala temple, irrespective of their age. This judgement struck down a rule which banned the entry of women between the ages 10 to 50 years into the temple. The judgment has thereby sounded the death […]

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